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Once you’ve made this version, I promise you’ll never go back to a mediocre Chinese restaurant for sweet and sour pork again. Sweet and sour pork is a classic Cantonese dish. Its fame is such that the Chinese call it gu lao rou, meaning pork with a long history.

Ons hou van baie sous in ons stirfry en die sous is heerlik. Jy kan dit met hoender, vark of prawns maak, die vleis is crispy buite en sag binne en dit is hoe sweet and sour strifry moet wees. Heerlik…die is ‘a go to recipe’ Geniet.

  • 250 g fresh pineapple (about ¼ small)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • few green beans
  • ½ green pepper
  • few broccoli florets
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 to 3 long red chillies, seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • Maizena (½ cup), plus 1 tsp extra
  • steamed or fried rice, to serve
  • Marinated pork:
  • 1 scant teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Vodka
  • 1 teaspoon ginger juice (squeezed from 2 tbsp finely grated ginger)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 500 g pork neck (pork neck is best because it has a good distribution of lean meat and fat)
  • Sweet and sour sauce:
  • 185 ml chicken stock (¾ cup)
  • 125 ml tomato ketchup (½ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black bean sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown malt vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon light soy
  • ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

For marinated pork, combine five-spice, light soy, vodka, ginger juice, egg and a pinch of salt in a bowl.
Cut pork into 3 cm pieces, add to marinade and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate to marinate (15 minutes or overnight; if marinating overnight, mix in egg just before cooking).

For sweet and sour sauce, mix ingredients in a bowl, and season to taste with sugar and vinegar.
Cut pineapple into bite-sized pieces, cut onion and, thinly slice capsicums, carrot and green beans, prepare broccoli florets, cut spring onion into batons, thinly slice chillies, finely chop garlic and set aside separately on a tray.
Heat oil in a wok to 185 º C. Place maizena in a bowl, add pork cubes and toss to coat, then deep-fry in batches until browned and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove pork with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat if desired for a crisper texture. Reserve oil in a heatproof container.

Wipe wok with paper towels, then heat 1 tbsp frying oil. When hot, add onion, chilly and garlic, and stir-fry until onion starts to color (30 seconds).
Add capsicum and pineapple, carrot and green beans, and stir-fry until well combined.
Add sweet and sour sauce, bring to the boil, then add spring onion and broccoli and stir-fry until warmed through.
Meanwhile, combine extra maizena with 1 tbsp cold water and stir into boiling sauce to thicken.
Season to taste.
Return pork to wok to warm through (1-2 minutes), then serve with rice.
Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over.

Recipe and photo: Elize de Kock

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